The Business of Healthcare

Don’t Step in Unintended Consequences

Let’s say you’re the leader of a medical group. It could be a small group of a handful of physicians. Or, you could be the President and CEO of a 600 or 6,000 provider group. It doesn’t make any difference.

Here’s the point: You negotiated for some arrangement. It could be an agreement with a payor. It could be an agreement with a facility. It could be an agreement with almost anyone. And then six months or a year later, someone, whether it’s your original deal partner or a third party, approaches you with another agreement.

This could be as simple as a request for an amendment to the original deal. Or it could be as seemingly disconnected as being approached by a third party who proposes some other deal to you.

You have to ask yourself how entering into a seemingly benign amendment or how entering into a seemingly benign other arrangement, even with a third party, will impact that first deal. Which, of course, begs the question of whether you know of, and can quickly access, all of your existing agreements.

Many times, especially with the complexities of healthcare dealings and the complexities of healthcare compliance, “other” deals have a tremendous impact on your initial arrangement. You can’t look at them as stand-alone.

If you’re not careful, you can screw up years of planning. You can screw up the terms of an agreement. You can find yourself bound to terms that you had no idea you were agreeing to be bound to.

Catalog all of your agreements. Consider each new deal or arrangement in light of your existing ones as a matter of standard operating procedure.

Remember, it’s not just the (new) deal that you’re making, it’s how that deal might change, or moot, or breach what’s already in place.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

Continue Reading...